Everything we’ve done has led to this moment...
When Universal Standard was just an idea, we spoke about the change we wanted to be – not just the brand we wanted to build. If I was ever going to have access to all the styles I wanted, then the industry would have to look at me differently. They would have to see me, at the size I am, as a woman with taste and options, and they would have to strive to get my attention and my wallet share. That could only happen if I, in my size-20 body, was considered as valuable a customer, as Polina was in her size-6 body. We knew the time had come to start levelling the playing field.
Erasing the line between “us” and “them” by building a brand that was size agnostic - a brand that held everyone in high esteem and allowed all of us to use style and taste as the filter for how we want to dress - was our goal from the start.
In the very early days, I had the chance to ask a prominent plus-size blogger who her favorite designers were. It seemed like such an ordinary question. The casual way in which she gave her answer made what she said that much more poignant, “I don’t have the privilege of thinking about fashion in that way – no plus-size woman has,” she said. “First, I have to think about who makes clothes big enough to fit me, then I think about what I might be able to scrounge from there.”
It made my heart sink. I too was in the same situation. I had just never realized the degree to which my first, second, and third filter had to always be the number on the label – not my taste, not my income, not my mood, not my ambitions, not the occasions in my life, not the way I wanted to present myself to the world, not my love of beautiful things… it was my size, always my size. It was the great divider, the thing that separated me from 99% of fashion and style, and cast me as the “friend who sat outside the dressing room.”
We were determined to build a brand that made dressing all of us a modern, beautiful, and above all, universal idea. Simply put, we wanted to create a brand in which both of us, as friends, could shop together.
With this in mind, today we broaden our size range from 6 to 32, with the ultimate goal of creating a brand that caters to women from 0 to 40… and lives beyond the boundaries of size.